If you have any question about the condition of a secondhand bike, just take it to a local bike shop for inspection. Bikes are usually simple and reliable if properly maintained for safe operation. We provide a checklist to consider before buying a secondhand bike.
Firstly, paint chips are inevitable and add character, expect dings and scratches. Secondly, significant dents are what you don’t like, particularly in aluminum frames. Thirdly, check the lugs or welds where the frame is joined together. Welds are better to be even and without any kind of cracking. So are bends at the dropouts (where the wheels attach to the frame). At last, there should be no play in the front fork. Small areas of oxidation or rust are primarily just a cosmetic issue.
Don’t choose a bike with unplugged handlebars. You had better replace the handgrips or bar plugs before riding if you can see the hollow of the bars. Because unplugged bars will be an impalement hazard in any accident. What’s more, the bottom of racing-style “butterfly” handlebars should be roughly parallel with the ground. Replace worn or missing bar tape.
Replace with a new saddle if the old one is torn or worn obviously. In generally, the saddle should be adjusted parallel to the ground. In addition, adjust the height of your saddle to live up to your legs.
Replace with new ones if the brake pads are worn or dried-out.
Check for worn bearings or a improperly adjusted bottom bracket, worn pedals, and rusty chain and replace them with new ones. Spin the freewheel and listen for the chatter of broken bearings. Lift the rear wheel and verify that shifting is crisp through all gears.
Find out poorly maintained hubs, loose spokes if any. Stand over each wheel and use the brake pads as a visual reference. Spin the wheel. A small amount of side-to-side motion can usually be corrected. Up-and-down rim motion cannot. Rims should smooth and free from road impact damage. Tires should hold the rated sidewall pressure. Replace tires exhibiting dry rot, worn tread, damaged sidewalls or tears exposing inner ply. See 10 best hybrid bikes
At last, do your homework and find out the price of new bikes in your shopping class. A well-maintained secondhand bike is usually half of the new one. You should take all the cost of necessary repairs into a potential purchase.